Micah 1 – “Doom for Samaria and Judah”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Micah speaks of doom for Samaria and Judah.

II. Photo
Micah goes to extremes: “Because of this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked!” (v. 9)

III. Select Verses    
1: The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morashtite, who prophesied concerning Samaria and Jerusalem in the reigns of Kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah.
5: All this is for the transgression of Jacob, And for the sins of the House of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob But Samaria, And what the shrines of Judah But Jerusalem?
6-7: So I will turn Samaria Into a ruin in open country, Into ground for planting vineyards; For I will tumble her stones into the valley And lay her foundations bare. All her sculptured images shall be smashed, And all her harlot’s wealth be burned, And I will make a waste heap of all her idols, For they were amassed from fees for harlotry, And they shall become harlots’ fees again.
8: Because of this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked! I will lament as sadly as the jackals, As mournfully as the ostriches.
9: For her wound is incurable, It has reached Judah, It has spread to the gate of my people, To Jerusalem.

IV. Outline
1. Introduction to prophecy
2a. Call to listen
2b-4. The coming of God
5. The sins of Judah and Samaria
6-7. Doom for Samaria
8. Micah’s mournful existence
9. The spread of Samaria’s sin
10-16. Doom for twelve cities around Jerusalem

V. Comment
In vv. 10-16, Micah speaks of doom and captivity for twelve cities. As Ralph L. Smith notes, “There is a word-play on the names of the cities. The word-plays are not to be taken lightly. The prophet was very serious in describing the misfortune that was coming on his home territory. It is difficult to discover the pun intended with every city… The historical situation to which this language refers is probably Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in 701 BC According to 2 Kgs 18:13–16 and Sennacherib’s own accounts, the Assyrian king came into Palestine attacking Tyre which was one of the leaders of the rebellion against the empire. Sennacherib then marched against Ashkelon and Ekron putting down their resistance. He met and defeated an Egyptian army at Eltekeh, near Ekron, then turned on Judah. He reports that he reduced forty-six cities of Judah and deported their population. He shut up Hezekiah, king of Judah and the remnant of his troops in Jerusalem “like a bird in a cage” (Bright 269). The twelve cities mentioned in Micah 1:10–15 were in the path of Sennacherib’s march to Jerusalem.” (21, 20-21)

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Smith, Ralph L. Micah-malachi. Waco, Tex: Word Books, 1984.
Photo copied from http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/212/6/9/Open_Land_by_silentdreams08.jpg